Tag: CST-100Page 3 of 15

Astronaut Visits CST-100 Starliner Suppliers

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Astronaut Megan McArthur examines CST-100 Starliner components. (Credit: NASA)

Astronaut Megan McArthur examines CST-100 Starliner components. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Veteran astronaut Megan McArthur toured two of the companies building components for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft recently and met with some of the employees who are designing and making sensors and circuit boards the spacecraft and its crews will rely on to steer precisely to the International Space Station. She was joined by Chris Ferguson, a former space shuttle commander who is now Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations for Commercial Crew. Boeing is one of two companies under contract with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to develop spacecraft systems to take astronauts to the space station. The missions will enhance research by increasing the number of crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory.

McArthur, who flew as a mission specialist on STS-125 and captured the Hubble Space Telescope with the shuttle’s robotic arm, visited Advanced Scientific Concepts in Santa Barbara, California, on April 7 where she surveyed the 3D Flash Light Detection and Ranging sensors the company is making. The LIDAR gear will let Starliner crews see the station in all conditions in space during a mission. The next day, McArthur visited Qual-Pro Corp in Gardena, California, where engineers are making the circuit boards that will allow Starliner systems to communicate with each other.

“It’s never about the individual or just the crew members who are in space,” McArthur said. “It’s always about the team of folks who are getting us ready to fly, who are getting the hardware ready to fly and keeping us safe while we’re up there. It’s not something we can ever succeed at by ourselves.”

Boeing Starliner Schedule Slips as First Test Article Comes Together

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A Boeing engineer works on joining the upper and lower half of a Starliner structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

A Boeing engineer works on joining the upper and lower half of a Starliner structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

Alan Boyle reports that the first crewed Starliner flight to the International Space Station has slipped its schedule.

“We’re working toward our first unmanned flight in 2017, followed by a manned astronaut flight in 2018,” Leanne Caret, who is Boeing’s executive vice president as well as president and chief executive officer of Boeing’s defense, space and security division, said at a briefing for investors.
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A Profile of Boeing Starliner Flight Crew Operations Lead

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Credit: NASA

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Astronauts heading into orbit aboard a new generation of commercially developed spacecraft will read instruments on a tablet and count on only a few physical buttons and joysticks to fly to and rendezvous with the International Space Station.

These high-tech systems will not have rigid panels that stretch over several positions and house row-upon-row of switches, dials and readouts like those on the Apollo spacecraft and space shuttle.

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Simulators Give Astronauts Glimpse of Future Flights

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Astronauts Suni WIlliams and Eric Boe evaluate part-task trainers for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner at the company's St. Louis facility. (Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

Astronauts Suni WIlliams and Eric Boe evaluate part-task trainers for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner at the company’s St. Louis facility. (Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

By Stephanie Martin and Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA’s commercial crew astronauts Suni Williams and Eric Boe tried out a new generation of training simulators at the Boeing facility in St. Louis Tuesday that will prepare them for launch, flight and returns aboard the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The training also brought recollections of earlier eras when NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spacecraft were built in St. Louis and astronauts routinely travelled to the city for simulator time.

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Profile of NASA Launch Vehicle Deputy Manager Dayna Ise

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Dayna Ise (Credit: NASA)

Dayna Ise (Credit: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — American-built rockets will soon once again launch astronauts from American soil, and Dayna Ise, an engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is excited to be part of the program making this possible.

Ise, deputy manager of the Launch Vehicle Office in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said working at the dawn of a new generation of human spaceflight brings intensity in a number of areas.

“Of all the projects I have been part of with NASA in my 15 years, this is easily the work I am most proud of,” said Ise, who started her career working on space shuttle main engines. “I joined the team early on, almost five years ago, and it’s been fun to see it grow. It’s exciting to be part of program that will launch astronauts to the space station from American soil and allow NASA more resources for exploration deeper into our solar system.”

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Profile of NASA Launch Vehicle Chief Engineer Dan Dorney

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Dan Dorney (Credit: NASA)

Dan Dorney (Credit: NASA)

By Bill Hubscher,
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA’s Dan Dorney has never been afraid to think big.

As a 7-year-old boy growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1969, Dorney watched the Apollo 11 moon landing from his living room and decided he needed to build his own rocket. He sent a letter to NASA asking how to do that. Much to his parents’ surprise, he got a response – NASA sent him plans to build a simple model rocket. Which he immediately rejected.

“I wanted the real wiring schematics and engine plans,” Dorney says. “I wanted to build my own life-size rocket to go to the moon. I was ready to be an aerospace engineer.”

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Starliner Crew Access Arm Undergoes Evacuation Water Test

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Engineers and technicians gathered at dusk recently at a construction site near Kennedy Space Center in Florida to test systems that will support Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The Crew Access Arm and White Room saw some of the most dynamic testing thus far, when hundreds of gallons of water were sprayed along the arm and beneath it for an evaluation of its water deluge system. The system is a key safety feature for future launches on the Starliner, one of two commercial spacecraft in development to carry astronauts to the station.

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Commercial Crew: Building in Safety from the Ground Up

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Astronaut Suni Williams jumps into the Hydro Impact Basin at NASA's Langley Research Center after completing a practice session with an Air Force pararescue team with a mock-up of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner. (Credit: NASA/ Langley Research Center)

Astronaut Suni Williams jumps into the Hydro Impact Basin at NASA’s Langley Research Center after completing a practice session with an Air Force pararescue team with a mock-up of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner. (Credit: NASA/ Langley Research Center)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is set to return human spaceflight launches to the International Space Station from U.S. soil. We share accountability with our commercial providers, Boeing and SpaceX, to implement a robust process for the development of safe, reliable and cost effective commercial crew transportation systems. NASA’s critical obligation is to ensure crew safety and success for NASA missions, and the providers are each responsible for safe operations of commercial crew transportation systems.

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Q&A With Commercial Crew Astronaut Suni Williams

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HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Suni Williams is one of four astronauts selected to train closely with Boeing and SpaceX as they develop a new generation of human-rated space systems in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

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Video of Boeing Starliner Drop Test

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Video Caption: Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Boeing dropped a full-scale test article of the company’s CST-100 Starliner into Langley’s 20-foot-deep Hydro Impact Basin at the Landing and Impact Research Facility. Although the spacecraft is designed to land on land, Boeing is testing the Starliner’s systems in water to ensure astronaut safety in the unlikely event of an emergency. This test happened Feb. 9, 2016.

Engineer Makes Sure Commercial Crew Craft Will Make Smooth Landing

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Engineer Jeff Thon at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Jeff Thon)

Engineer Jeff Thon at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Jeff Thon)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

One of the engineers NASA depends on to assess the landing systems of the next generation of human-rated spacecraft brings 14 years of experience working with parachutes on launch systems.

Plus, as a skydiver, he knows what it’s like to have his life depend on a parachute.

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Boeing Tests Starliner Spacecraft

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Boeing Starliner water drop test (Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman)

Boeing Starliner water drop test (Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman)

HAMPTON, Va. (NASA PR) — Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and Boeing dropped a full-scale test article of the company’s CST-100 Starliner into Langley’s 20-foot-deep Hydro Impact Basin.

Although the spacecraft is designed to land on land, Boeing is testing the Starliner’s systems in water to ensure astronaut safety in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch or ascent.

Testing allows engineers to understand the performance of the spacecraft when it hits the water, how it will right itself and how to handle rescue and recovery operations. The test is part of the qualification phase of testing and evaluation for the Starliner system to ensure it is ready to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

SpaceX Has Highest CRS2 Score and Mission Cost

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SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX had the highest rating and mission price in the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract competition, with Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada Corporation running neck and neck for second place. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin and Boeing finished out of the running due to cost.

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Bolden Sees Starliner

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Administrator Charles Bolden stands next to Boeing's CST-100 capsule at Langely Research Center. (Credit: NASA)

Administrator Charles Bolden stands next to Boeing’s CST-100 capsule at Langely Research Center. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden took a close look on Tuesday at the airbag system for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, before a contingency water landing test with a full-size spacecraft mock-up.

Although it’s designed to land on land, Boeing is testing the Starliner at Langley’s Hydro Impact Basin to evaluate its tendencies in case it has to land in the water in the event of, for example, an unlikely launch or ascent emergency that calls for the spacecraft to separate from its rocket and parachute itself and the astronauts inside to safety.

Starliner is being developed in partnership with NASA to carry up to four astronauts at a time to the International Space Station. An additional crew member will allow science time on the orbiting laboratory to double for NASA’s Journey to Mars and research that will benefit everyone on Earth.

Bolden visited Langley to deliver his annual “State of NASA” address during which he detailed aspects of the agency’s budget request.

Crucial Commercial Crew Milestones Lie Ahead in 2016

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By Steven Siceloff,

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners Boeing and SpaceX are on the eve of America’s return to human spaceflight launches. By the time the year closes, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will be poised for the flight tests that allow our astronauts to travel to the International Space Station lifting off from Florida’s Space Coast.

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